We have become united for the love of reading!

This week was the second week in our new project with our local primary teacher’s college. We currently have a slot on the timetable teaching year one students once a week for the whole year, but this year we raised the bar and were granted another spot on the timetable to teach year two students ‘read aloud’ skills. That is teacher-speak for how to read a storybook aloud to children. We look at fluency, expression, asking different types of questions, and how to teach different aspects of critical thinking such as predicting, comprehension, summarising, comparing the text to your own situation, etc.

This might seem like a basic and not very exciting project to you, but if you know a little about education in Gulu or Uganda in general, then you will be tingling with excitement at this project!
Here, many student teachers may never have had a children’s story read aloud to them. And they, quite possibly, have never had the opportunity to practise reading a fiction book aloud to others (textbooks – yes, but storybooks, ah, pass). It has been so exciting to see some of these students come alive and in just two sessions bring stories alive as well. We pray that these student teachers will become excited about reading children’s books and want to read stories to their future students.

What is also exciting about this project is the many people who have come together to make it happen. We normally teach large classes at the college, there’s about 200 students and we wanted to have more intimate group reading sessions where we could listen to each student read and give feedback. So… we called in some more troops! We have volunteers and staff members from several other organisations, both Ugandans and expats, who have come forward and donated their time to make this happen. Missing from this picture below is our ‘van driver’ who has also volunteered with his 14-seater van from Football for Good to take us to the college and back every week!

What a team!

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Our 14 ‘read aloud ambassadors’ – many in this picture come from other organisations but have a passion for stories and reading and want to see the love of reading imparted into our future teachers. Thank you volunteers! We are posing with our ‘question mark’ gesture. Please note that not all of our incredible volunteers made it this week, there’s a few other lovely faces missing that are well appreciated and loved!

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Leading a fluency activity with my group of student teachers.

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READ for Life new teacher Nighty leading a read aloud session.

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Our PTC ‘queen bee’ Teacher Aleks putting ‘her all’ into demonstrating ‘expression’.

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Connect Education Centre Librarian Kate playing an expression game with her group of students

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Read Aloud guru (and author) Phoebe Wright playing the punctuation/fluency activity with her group of students.

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Two of our Read Aloud volunteers preparing for class…

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